The nature of the impact of the controversy over Takata airbag explosions became more evident when Japan’s transport minister, Akihiro Ohta, stated on Nov. 25 that a task force has been set up within the transport ministry that he oversees. The task force has been charged with addressing the recalls related to Takata’s allegedly faulty airbags, some of which allegedly spewed metal fragments at front-row occupants during airbag explosions.
Prompt Airbag Replacement Urged
The largest number of recalled vehicles in the United States were manufactured by Honda. More than 10 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S., and 2.54 million of those are Hondas. Transport minister Ohta has urged the Japanese company and other automakers to replace recalled airbags as quickly as possible.
The task force has been directed to investigate Honda for not properly reporting airbag explosions in the United States. There are claims that the company may have under-reported over 1,700 claims of airbag explosions that were allegedly linked to injury and loss of life during an 11-year period, according to Bloomberg.
Class-Action Lawsuits Filed
Takata has thus far been named as a defendant in more than 20 class-action suits. It is the subject of a U.S. criminal investigation, and the actions of the company are being investigated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to Reuters.
The New York Times has reported that Takata itself investigated airbag-related claims following a 2004 traffic accident, before allegedly instructing its own employees to erase certain test results. Takata has denied such claims.
Senate Testimony by Takata Executive
Takata’s senior vice president for quality assurance, Hiroshi Shimizu, has testified at a November hearing conducted by the United States Senate. At the hearing, Shimizu linked faulty airbag deployment to the moisture in the air in more humid conditions. He asserted during sworn testimony that problematic airbag explosions were more often found in these higher-humidity environments.
Have You Been a Victim of a Defective Airbag? Call Us for Help
If you or someone you love has been injured or died and you believe a defective airbag is to blame, please contact us at Attorney Group. Our affiliated attorneys can file a lawsuit on your behalf at no cost to you. Call to find out how you may be entitled to receive a monetary compensation for your loss.